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C'est Ma Vie
It's time for my annual post. Looking back at my last one, it was a very good summary of a point in time. I'm going to keep that up, even though I think most reading this know what is up already.

Relationship - I'm engaged to Lindsay now! It's so easy to know she's the one; I couldn't imagine anyone better.

House - I own one now! Lindsay and I found a townhouse in a great location and have been thoroughly enjoying the extra space/amenities of a house.

Cat - I have one of these, too! His name is Newton and he's adorable. He's cuddly and playful which is just about all I want.

Job - Still working at Mobiata/Expedia. I'm starting to get a bit restless though. I'll stick with it until November (the retention bonus is way too good), but after that I might strike out on my own.

Free time - Still doing lots of swimming and board games. Overall, I feel I've spent more time recently consuming and not creating. A year ago I still felt like I was actively making things; nowadays I feel a bit more like I'm treading water. My free time goal is to stir things up and start being more active again.
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This journal has not been entirely forgotten, however the rate at which I update has dropped dramatically. Part of the problem is that the posts on my friends page are mostly from people I see on a regular basis, so I feel no need to write down what they already know. I'd be curious if you're still reading this (leave a comment)!

I'll give a brief update for those whom I haven't seen in a while:

- My job continues to be fun yet stressful. As Mobiata has grown, I've taken on a fair amount of responsibility (for better and worse). I'm learning a lot and trying not to screw things up along the way.

- Relationship-wise, things are going quite well with Lindsay. We're looking to move in with each other after our respective leases expire this summer.

- Speaking of moving: I'm currently investigating purchasing my first house. I may have more on that soon!

- I've gotten way into swimming in the last few years, still doing that regularly. My other spare time tasks involve a lot of board games and dancing. So, not much has changed with regards to my free time.
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I had some thoughts on Thor so I thought I'd write here for once. Overall decent but a few issues I had...

My first (non-spoiler) thought: I much prefer action movies where the action is understandable. The Matrix's action is cool because you can grasp each punch, kick and jump. I am beginning to get tired of movies that get lazy and just shake the camera around in order to evoke action. I want to see what's happening!

Spoiler Thoughts Here, on Thor and Y - The Last ManCollapse )
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Toff, the Carleton cat, passed away from cancer today.

I still feel like it's rare to have an animal who so understands his place: as the owner of all of Carleton. He went wherever he pleased and knew that everyone on campus would welcome and pet him. He even sauntered through a few of my classes while in session. He certainly had a good life, living high on the hog.

I liked how you'd walk up to Toff on the sidewalk and he'd just plop down, ready for a belly rub. Overall, I got more than my fair share of time with him because of his predilection with Joanna and Kelly's Parish room sophomore year.

I wonder if there's going to be a memorial service of any kind.
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Something kicked into high gear in the last month and now my life is insane. A few weeks ago I was working hard on a new release; after that, I had to work hard on another app for the Barcelona trip. Last week I spent in Barcelona (I may post about that at some point, though you can get a general feel for the trip from the pictures). Now it turns out I am probably going to fly to Ann Arbor next week for business. Though not work related, the week after that I'm in Boston for PAX East - a trip I had planned before I knew I'd be flying all over the world.

It just troubles me that there are all these things I regularly used to do - take guitar lessons, play in band, go to trivia, go swimming - that I haven't been able to do for over a month. I spend less time with friends, not because I want to, but because I'm just so busy. I worry about the impressions I'm giving off to people - I want to hang out! I just... can't.

My job is amazing - I wonder if I'll ever have one as good as this again - but it does have a certain price one has to pay.
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Two important things of recent note...

The first is that my company got accepted to go to a big mobile conference in Barcelona. That means *I* am going to Barcelona in a week. It is both exciting and scary; I'm not a big fan of going places I don't know the language but I think I'll be able to wing it. I'm going to be staying in Barcelona for three extra days after the conference just to take a look around.

The second is not recent news but I am confident enough now to post it online. Back in November I started dating someone new and it's been going extremely well. What is strange about this relationship is that I'm doing things I never thought I'd do again; I always thought that after your first serious relationship you're just more guarded. But I'm leaving myself wide open for this one, not willfully but just because it is going so well.
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I've alluded to this in the past but I've become a lot more athletic in the last half the year. I'm discovering a pretty awesome world by doing so. The first (and most obvious) benefit of regular swimming is that my form has improved dramatically. I could easily lap myself from six months ago at the speed I swim now. I like the swimming is almost as much mental as it is physical; if I don't have the extra strength, I can work on my technique and that will often give me a greater boost in speed.

I've also found that my overall mood is much brighter and that I'm far less stressed when I get regular exercise. I missed out swimming on Monday due to MLK day closing the YWCA and I could feel the ill effects by the time Wednesday's swim came around. I never thought I'd find exercise addicting - before it was always a chore - but now I don't want to go without it.

The people I swim with are awesome, too. Part of the reason I enjoy it is because I am going to master's classes. They're not so much a class as it is one instructor telling everyone a routine for the day then giving occasional tips as you swim. Since it's a regular event you get to know the people you swim with, and they hold some of social events (eating after swimming and pot lucks).

And finally, I'm more in shape than I ever have been in my entire life.

I feel like up until recently I didn't even know that I could be at all successful at athletics. When I was a kid I used to play soccer and baseball but by the time I got to junior high I was the last pick kid at gym class. Somewhere along the way I just picked up this idea that I would always be inferior, so I stopped trying hard at sports at all. I did way better in my classes than I could do in gym, so why even bother with it? If I could go back in time and talk to my old self, I'd probably tell him how you can be good at sports - you just have to try as hard as you can, or you won't improve.

I don't think I could ever be a competitive athlete (I don't think I have the natural talent to compete) but I can certainly be much better than I was. Good thing it's not too late at all to pick up swimming.
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I've been swimming a whole lot in the last few months. I've gone from being someone who barely exercises to a YWCA commoner. I think the best part is that I've learned how much better I feel after exercising regularly. I was feeling kind of down yesterday (I don't know why), spent an hour in the pool and felt a lot better instantly.

However there was one issue last night after I got out of the pool. My swimsuit is pretty cheap and decided to punish me for going to the pool so often. Essentially it decided to make me look like a pervert. It now looks like I've had an explosion in the crotch area. The picture will illustrate this far better than words:

Swimsuit Ouch

The lifeguard at the time was a college friend. She and I were laughing about it, I didn't understand how it could happen. Then she gave me the helpful suggestion of rubbing it, immediately turning bright red after realizing what she'd just suggested. I explained that was how I got into this predicament in the first place!
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Being home for the last week, I've actually bothered to start cleaning out the junk in my room. Funny things found when cleaning out my room:

- Game manuals that are bigger than the boxes games come in now. (Baldur's Gate 2, Civilization 2 in particular both have manuals twice as large as game cases.)

- Print outs of game walkthroughs. (Back in the day before task switching, had to do this!) Character guides for Diablo 2, secret item locations for Serious Sam, walkthroughs for Fallout, cheat codes for various games.

- My first resume, which was depressingly empty because I hadn't had a single job yet. Came with some half-filled-out job applications, including one for Starbucks. I sure dodged a bullet there! Though I'm really not sure why I never turned these in...

- Two copies of the Myers-Briggs that I took at my internship in Boston. Apparently I am an ENTJ, though I am very much so on the middle for some of those letters.

- Lots of mysteriously labeled CDs and DVDs, lots of mix CDs I used to make. Hundreds of demo discs from various game magazines. The best mysterious disc I found - one copy of "The Tale of Shimotsuma" that flamingsquibbit and twinconnection worked on!

- A CD archive of all LIFE covers from 1936 through 1972. You might think this is kind of neat, but they're all 20Kb JPEGs, so there are artifacts galore and postage-stamp sized. Upon further inspection I realized the disc was printed in 1994.

Overall, looking back I feel like I was a much less effective person when I was younger. Is this normal? Do you feel like you can accomplish more or less than when you were younger?
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Here's some big gigantic news in my life right now: http://techcrunch.com/2010/11/18/expedia-acquires-flighttrack-app-developer-mobiata/
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